Sometimes an ulcer may involve just the surface
lining of the digestive tract. The person may then have a slow but constant
loss of blood into the digestive tract. Over time,
anemia may develop because of this slow blood
If ulcers become larger and extend deeper into the digestive
tract lining, they may damage large blood vessels, resulting in sudden, serious
bleeding into the intestinal tract. This can be very dangerous. Without prompt
medical treatment to stop the bleeding, a person could bleed to death. Blood
transfusions often are needed when serious bleeding occurs.
If you are vomiting blood and/or material that looks like coffee
grounds, or if you have stools that are black, look like tar, or are maroon or bloody, see a doctor immediately. The chances of successfully treating your
ulcer are best if you see a doctor when you first notice any bleeding.
Perforation occurs when an ulcer eats through the wall of the
stomach or intestine into the abdominal (belly) cavity.
Although perforation is a much less frequent
complication than bleeding, it is still a significant problem in people who have
unsuspected or untreated peptic ulcers.